Hanoi 8 September 2015-- Community arts, including public community art, help beautify the living space of the community with the participation of the community’s members in a variety of forms to renovate their living environment.

The topic was up for discussion at a seminar for development of a project named ‘Art for Better Space’, jointly held by the Korean Foundation, UN-Habitat and Vietnam Urban Forum (VUF) in Hanoi on September 4.

The event aims to share experiences with Vietnam from the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s community-based art models in beautifying urban living space and improving community connections, thereby developing projects promoting community-based art exchanges between the two countries for a better urban living space.

Vietnam’s urban characteristics alternate between modern and old

The project will also identify opportunities for co-operation with Vietnam’s cities and urban areas eager to participate and share experiences in this field. Speaking at the seminar, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Construction's Urban Development Agency and VUF General Secretary Tran Quoc Thai said that Vietnam’s urban characteristics alternate between modern and old, between ancient architecture and modern urban buildings. Therefore, the essential issue is preservation in line with renovating and improving the efficiency of urban development, requiring joint efforts by artists, experienced urban managers and the local community as a whole, Thai stressed.

Community arts programmes have been initiated in many cities around the world, creating positive effects on the urban space and improving public living conditions, as well as generating livelihoods for local people. In addition to bringing arts closer to the public, artistic activities also contribute to improving aesthetics, community cohesion, and promoting local tourism.

At the seminar, the RoK’s experts in community-engaged arts and urban development introduced the current state of community arts in the RoK through the example of Suwon City, where people self-designed their living space with a combination of cultural, architectural, and environmental elements.

Playgrounds volunteer group

Think Playgrounds volunteer group consisting of young architects also shared their experiences in using arts to build free playgrounds for children in Hanoi and other localities across Vietnam. Painter Nguyen Thu Thuy, the author of the Ceramic Road along the Red River – an art work recognised as the longest mosaic mural in the world by the Guinness World Records – also shared her ideas on beautifying public spaces in the capital and other urban areas.

The workshop also offered opportunities for exchanges between the RoK’s experts with local representatives on the possibility and plans to apply and develop public art space in Vietnam.

Through the deployment of community arts programmes, the project aims to promote the formation of a trend of art in urban renewal and bringing community arts to life (in the form of music, pictures, painting, and architecture) towards a green and improved living environment.